CBD comes in many different forms. There are CBD supplements that you ingest, like CBD oil or gummies. There are also topical CBD products that you apply directly to your body. Both can be very useful and have different health benefits. 

Salve is one of those topical products. Before you use a CBD salve, you need to be sure it’s the right product for you and your skin — it’s the largest organ in your body, so take care! Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Salve?

A salve is a product designed to heal, treat, or add hydration to the skin. The consistency of a salve is similar to a balm or an ointment. 

It’s very thick and often formulated with waxes. Beeswax is one of the most common bases for a salve. The beeswax is thinned out with something like hemp seed oil or coconut oil to make it spreadable. 

Salves typically come in tins or screw-top containers because they’re semi-solid. They could never come out of a pump bottle, and squeezing them from a tube would be very difficult. It’s much easier to scoop them out of a container. 

Its unique thickness is the advantage of using a salve formula over more conventional types of creamy skincare products. A salve isn’t runny, so it will always stay where you put it. It will also leave behind a protective barrier that can keep the skin underneath moist while healing. 

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid. It’s usually derived from hemp plants, a variety of cannabis plants with very little naturally occurring THC. 

CBD can interact with receptors within your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a giant network of receptors in almost every part of your body. There are cannabinoid receptors everywhere, from your brain to your skin. The system acts as a support system for many important functions within your body.

CBD gives a little extra support to your endocannabinoid system, offering holistic wellness and homeostasis. 

CBD comes in many forms and three specific types: broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and CBD isolate. 

  • Broad-Spectrum CBD contains all of the beneficial plant parts without detectable levels of THC.
  • Full-Spectrum CBD contains all the terpenes and beneficial plant parts, including THC.
  • CBD Isolate is pure CBD, with all other plant parts and THC removed.

It is believed that using full-spectrum CBD encourages the entourage effect. This full-body effect allows all the cannabinoids and other beneficial plant parts to work together with your endocannabinoid system. 

If you frequently take drug tests or are sensitive to the side effects of THC, using broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products is your best bet.

Be sure to look for products that third-party labs have tested. The certificate of analysis from a lab will show any heavy metals, pesticides, and levels of cannabinoids in the sample batch.

What Is CBD Salve?

CBD salve is a topical salve infused with CBD. Since salves are designed to support skin for a specific purpose, they may have skin conditioning ingredients, herbal ingredients like arnica for sore muscles, or essential oils like eucalyptus for a nice cooling effect. 

Salves can soothe localized discomfort or itchiness of the skin. CBD salve is typically used for discomfort rather than itchiness, though. CBD has naturally soothing properties that can ease minor skin and muscle discomfort.

What Does CBD Salve Do?

CBD salve can help to support your skin. Many people like to use CBD salve on dry, cracked skin. The CBD in these salves can work with the cannabinoid receptors within your skin, helping to support healthy skin. 

Medicated creams prescribed by a dermatologist can treat specific skin conditions. With a dermatologist’s permission, you might be able to incorporate CBD salve into your skincare routine to provide your skin with additional support as it heals. 

Can You Make CBD Salve at Home?

You can make your own CBD salve at home with natural ingredients if you have CBD oil, essential oils, and beeswax or coconut oil. All you need to do is melt the moisturizing beeswax, pour in some CBD oil and carrier oil to thin it out, and add a few drops of soothing essential oils. 

Many people like high-quality peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and lavender essential oil for extra soothing. Just be mindful that essential oils can irritate the skin in large amounts. Just a drop or two mixed into a carrier oil is plenty. 

Pour the mixture into a metal tin to cool, and you’re all set. 

Does CBD Salve Work Like CBD Oil?

The benefits of CBD salve are topical. The CBD in topical products doesn’t reach your internal endocannabinoid system, which is where the wellness support happens. 

If you’re looking to soothe tension and support relaxation, you’ll need to use something like broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD oil, tincture, or edibles like CBD gummies. 

You can use CBD salve and CBD oil at the same time. The two don’t conflict with each other because they work differently. Use them simultaneously for support inside and out. 

How To Use CBD Salve

CBD salve works best on clean, dry skin. If your skin is dirty, oily, or sweaty, that layer creates a barrier between the salve and your skin. Take a quick shower or wash the area so you can start with a clean slate. 

Salves have a harder texture. You can reach in and scoop it out as it is and begin to rub it into the affected area. 

Your body heat will warm the salve and make it easier to spread. You can also fill a bowl with warm water and float the salve container in it for a few minutes to soften the texture before applying it.

Salve doesn’t dry down; it leaves behind a protective barrier that will gradually wear away. It’s similar to petroleum jelly or chapstick. If you don’t want the salve to rub off on your clothes or furniture, you can use medical tape to affix a piece of gauze or non-stick dressing over the top. 

CBD Salve vs. Other Topical CBD Products

There’s a vast world of CBD topicals. They all generally provide the same benefits, but there are reasons why you might prefer one form to another. It all depends on how you intend to use your CBD topical.

CBD Salve or Balm

CBD salves and balms are thick and easy to apply to small areas. The waxy base leaves a barrier that protects the skin and keeps the ingredients from sliding around. 

On the other hand, CBD salve can be challenging to use. You need to scoop it out of the container. Be mindful of getting it underneath your fingernails.

Salves and balms usually come in very small containers. You may blow through the container very quickly if you want to use them on your whole calf muscle. 

You’ll also have a waxy leg, making it difficult to wear pants or sit on the couch without making a mess. Balms and salves don’t sink into your skin, so stick to smaller areas.

CBD Lotion or CBD Cream

CBD lotions and creams are easy to dispense, as they often come in pump bottles or tubes. They’re great for covering large areas of your body, like your arms or legs. You rub them into the affected area, and your skin will easily absorb them. 

The only drawback to lotions and creams is that the application process can be messy. CBD lotions and creams often have active ingredients, like menthol, that produce a cooling sensation. 

You probably don’t want to feel that cooling sensation on your hands. If you touch your face, you probably don’t want to transfer it there either. 

Many people who use lotions or creams find it helpful to wear gloves. Using gloves can keep them from getting a little more cooling relief than they bargained for. 

CBD Roll-On 

CBD roll-ons have all the benefits of a lotion and a salve, but it’s much easier to use. You can roll the product directly onto the area where you want relief. You don’t need to get it on your hands, which reduces the chances that you’ll make a mess or get the product in a place where you don’t want it. 

The Pure Relief Dream Team

If you’re seeking relief from CBD, combining a form of CBD you ingest with a topical form of CBD is a great choice. The topical form will soothe your achy muscles and help to support your skin health. The CBD you ingest will work with your body’s endocannabinoid system to provide holistic wellness support. 

CBD-infused gummies and a CBD roll-on are the ultimate dream team if you're looking for the simplest solution. CBD gummies are convenient to use — and delicious. 

You probably already use gummy multivitamins or supplements in your daily life. Why not add a new gummy into your wellness arsenal? If one gummy contains 25 mg of CBD, you don’t have to worry about how many drops you need to get your desired daily dose.

CBD roll-ons can provide relief where you need it most and are very simple to use. It goes straight from the container to your skin. Why mess around with complicated packaging? Get the relief you need the quick and easy way.

Sources:

An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system | National Library of Medicine

The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain | PMC

TRP Channel Cannabinoid Receptors in Skin Sensation, Homeostasis, and Inflammation | ACS Chemical Neuroscience

Psoriasis - Diagnosis and treatment | Mayo Clinic

August 24, 2022